By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
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May 13. 2014 11:46PM

Land being cleared for dog park in Merrimack

MERRIMACK — An initiative to construct the town’s first dog park has been in the works for more than two years, and may soon become a reality.

Land clearing is taking place at Wasserman Park, which is the future home of the Merrimack Dog Park.

With fundraising efforts continuing, organizers are hoping that a new, online contest may push the campaign along.

“The town has been very supportive of our project, but we really need to raise the money for this on our own,” said Christine Lavoie of Merrimack, a member of the dog park subcommittee.

Earlier this year, the town council approved the completion of logging and forestry work at Wasserman Park, which includes a separate area of less than an acre for the dog park.

“Progress is being made,” said Lavoie. “The logging work has begun, but was delayed slightly because of the wet ground. The logging should be finished in a few weeks.”

Lavoie said the focus has shifted to securing enough funds for the project.

The Friends of the Merrimack Dog Park have submitted their proposal for an online dog park contest hosted by PetSafe, a nationwide leader and manufacturer of electronic pet training products.

The contest, which runs until June 7, will award $100,000 to a community to build a new PetSafe dog park. In addition, four other finalists will each receive $25,000 toward their local dog park projects.

“Merrimack really needs a great place where residents can bring their dogs to socialize with other dogs,” she said. Initially, the future dog park was proposed for Watson Park, however the location was switched to Wasserman Park in part because the park is larger, and because there is easy access to trails and the nearly Horse Head Hill Preserve.

The future dog park, which will be located at the south end of Wasserman Park next to the non-residential parking lot, will be fenced in with one section for larger dogs and a second area for smaller dogs. A double-gated security entrance will also be installed to promote safety among owners and pets, Lavoie said.

To vote for Merrimack in the dog park contest, go to petsafe.net/barkforyourpark. Winners will be announced June 13.

Financial donations for the dog park may be sent to the Town of Merrimack, attention Finance Department/Dog Park Fund, 6 Baboosic Lake Road, Merrimack 03054.

khoughton@newstote.com


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